Expected to arrive around the end of the decade
Spy photos from April have shown the C-Class (W205) is getting ready to receive a mid-cycle facelift, but it seems Mercedes-Benz is already planning the next generation, which is expected to come out in 2020. Details are murky at this point, but Mercedes-Benz U.S. International CEO Jason Hoff did hint in a recent presentation at the Center for Automotive Research's Management Briefing Seminars the new C-Class will make more extensive use of aluminum.
In addition, the next-gen model will benefit from advanced joining technologies in its construction, including steel welded to aluminum, along with an increased use of laser welding, riveting, and bonding. Hoff went on to specify some of these joining technologies are going to be provided by C-Class suppliers in Vance, Alabama.
By utilizing more aluminum and advanced joining processes, Mercedes will be able to shave off weight from the C-Class and at the same time improve its body strength. Making the car lighter will pay dividends in terms of fuel economy and will lower carbon dioxide emissions, thus helping the automaker meet more stringent regulations.
It’s too soon to say how much weight the next C-Class will be able to lose over the current model, but obviously the diet will be more than welcomed. The lightest version of the current generation is the entry-level C160 model that tips the scales at 1,395 kilograms (3,075 pounds) without any optional equipment.